Meet Eddie Zhou, PCM’s 2023 Development and Marketing Intern. Eddie is a PCM alum and currently attends Northwestern University, studying Violin Performance and Biological Sciences. He studied violin with Aimée Kreston Kreston and Mary Kelly at PCM and participated in programs ranging from Young Musicians to Chamber Music.
PCM: Why did you apply for PCM’s Development and Marketing Internship? Is there anything in particular you are hoping to learn this summer? EZ: PCM has played an integral role in my life, as I have been a student at the conservatory since before I could even walk. I am deeply appreciative of everything PCM has done for me, especially as I pursue a degree in Violin Performance at Northwestern’s Bienen School of Music. Consequently, I have always wanted to give back to this organization and community that has provided me with so many valuable lessons, opportunities, and experiences. I saw this position as the perfect opportunity to do that while also gaining valuable experience in arts management and administration. As the Development and Marketing Intern, I will be responsible for helping with registration and recruitment, and the chance to bring in new students to experience the same dedicated music education that I did is something that I am looking forward to immensely.
PCM: How was your first year at Northwestern? Any highlights? Any surprises? EZ: My first year at Northwestern was great. It was definitely a new, and at times challenging, experience for me, being on my own and away from home; but it was very enjoyable and I was able to grow and mature considerably. As a dual degree student in Biological Sciences and Violin Performance, I was able to broaden my horizons by taking a wide variety of classes, such as Music Theory, Chemistry, and even a Shakesperean literature course. I particularly enjoyed spending time alongside my talented and dedicated peers, some of whom shared similar interests and passions as me and others who opened my eyes to new perspectives and paths. Although the Chicago weather was a slap in the face at first, I got relatively used to it by the end of the year, but I can’t say that I am looking forward to next winter.
PCM: What are some of your aspirations for the coming year and beyond? EZ: I am currently on the pre-med track, as I have always wanted to pursue a career in the medical field. So I will be working on fulfilling my prerequisite requirements and gaining the necessary clinical and laboratory experience going forward. On the musical side of things, I am staying together with my string quartet from my freshman year, and we hope to compete in chamber music competitions by the end of the year. I also hope to take advantage of Northwestern’s liberal arts education by taking classes that don’t necessarily fall into my two majors. These include classes covering history and ethics in order to gain wider perspectives and hopefully apply that new knowledge towards the fields I am more passionate about.
PCM: Who is your favorite composer? Who are some artists you like to listen to in your free time? EZ: My favorite composer is Rachmaninoff. Although he did not write much for solo violin, I absolutely adore his second and third piano concertos and his second symphony, which I had the honor of playing last summer at the Verbier Festival. Apart from classical music, I enjoy listening to Tyler the Creator, The Strokes, Radiohead, and beabadoobee.
PCM: Have you had any learning experiences during your time studying music that have really stuck with you? EZ: My time at the Verbier Festival last summer was an incredibly inspiring experience that created many lasting memories and lessons. As a member of the junior orchestra, I had the privilege of playing alongside some of the most talented young musicians from around the world. Although it was daunting to be surrounded by such gifted individuals at first, their presence over the course of the festival motivated me to match their dedication and musicality. My time at Verbier also taught me the value of collaboration in music, as witnessing a diverse group of individuals work with one another to create a beautiful and cohesive end product really instilled in me music’s ability to bring people together. Additionally, the privilege of watching such artists as Yuja Wang, Klaus Makela, and Danill Trifonov perform was a heartening and memorable experience.
PCM: Do you have any surprising hobbies? If so, what are they? EZ: I don’t have anything really surprising, but I am a huge sports fan. I particularly enjoy playing and watching soccer and basketball. During the season, you can catch me waking up early to watch Arsenal games every weekend, and I am definitely still disappointed by the Lakers’ playoff exit.